I set myself a challenge over Yuletide just gone; to buy all my gifts from local/handmade/independent suppliers. I did surprisingly well and not only managed to hunt down some wonderful gifts but found the whole experience more pleasurable. I managed to avoid the usual cloud of guilt and frustration that comes when I spend money because I knew that my hard-won pennies were going to other hardworking creatives and not some giant corporation that is anathema to creativity, sustainability and a whole host of other things that are good in this World*!

In fact, I enjoyed buying my Yuletide gifts so much this year that it has gone on to affect my approach gift buying and shopping in general.

Etsy has become my new go-to-online-store, instead of Amazon. I’m getting braver when going into local independent shops and trying not to wimp out when there’s no-one else in there; instead taking the plunge, stepping through the ringing of the doorbell and having a root around, even indulging in conversations with the shopkeepers. Despite the residual nerves and the ‘I feel obliged to buy something because you’ve looked at me’ impulse, I now leave these stores with a genuine smile if not an actual purchase.

I am truly grateful for this new experience. I have a new appreciation for the skills and talents made avaliable to us through other people and also for  my ability to partake of them. My finances may not be 100% sturdy but I do occasionally have a few pounds to spare. Spending them well is a real treat.


I’ve been blessed with two packages in the post recently; one I purchased and one I won. Both came from makers who I came across through the 2014 Grow Your Blog Party and neither has asked me to promote them but both truly deserve it.

I won a giveaway during the party from Hettienne at Her Grace. Her beautiful package arrived yesterday,  smelling of incense and divinity and filled with two beautiful organza bags.

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

In the first was some blessed salts and dried rose petals ‘that were touched to the St Teresa roses’.

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

In the second, larger bag was more petals and salts and a carefully wrapped collection of Mary Blessing Seeds.These are intended to be buried in the earth full of prayers, wishes and good intentions.

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

A truly wonderful gift that I feel blessed to have received. I am looking forward to using them. Thank you Hettienne!

My second package came from Shroo at Shroo’s World. I loved her blog when I first came across it and quickly signed up. This led me to her Etsy store where I saw this wonderful notebook…

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

I am undertaking a new adventure this weekend, going away to learn about ceremony and working as a celebrant and I needed a notebook to journal the process and record my experiences. I had thought to use something quite plain and simple, then I saw this and knew it was the one.

When it arrived it was beautifully wrapped in plenty of padding, as well as the cheerful pink and yellow papers you can see. I could immediately sense the care and concern that had gone into preparing and sending this item; it felt like Shroo was there, giving my hand a squeeze saying ‘Thank you’ and ‘Your Welcome’ and ‘Enjoy’.

After carefully unwrapping I not only found my beautiful notebook safe inside but also a small extra notelet book and some exciting bits and pieces that I can use in my journalling. And finally a card sending me wishes from Shroo herself.

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

The care and attention to detail that obviously went into both the product and the delivery  are staggering and I am truly grateful to Shroo for her talent and my purchase. She helped me realise that shopping – even online shopping! – can still involve connection, sharing and care.


If you would like to see more items of loveliness please do check out both seller’s blogs and stores. Not only will you benifit from beautiful items but also an interaction that overshadows any lingering feelings of ‘shopper’s guilt’. You never know, it might change your shopping experience for good…

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

Hettienne @ Devata



Rachael Farmer @ World of Shroo



( * I’m the first to admit I’m being a little hypocritical; I do most of my food shopping in a supermarket and am not stalwart enough to go without milk or eggs if the only place open is a Tesco Express. That’s another swathe of guilt I tend to carry round with me and the topic of another post. )



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All written materials and images, unless otherwise stated, are property of Kelly Tomlin 2016.
We gather together to Walk the Wheel; to share with one another and be inspired.